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Nokia Sues Apple for Patent Infringement in Germany and the U.S. Following Licensing Disagreement [Updated]
Nokia's lawsuit stems from a disagreement between Apple and Nokia over licensing fees for Nokia technology. Apple this morning filed an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities that it claims are attempting to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents through lawsuits and royalty demands.
According to Apple, Nokia's failing cellphone business has prompted Nokia to transfer patents to patent assertion entities to get out of FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) licensing deals it established for essential patents, allowing the company to collect higher royalties. From Apple's complaint:
With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegal patent transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present. The driving force behind Nokia's strategy was to diffuse its patent portfolio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators.Nokia's own patent infringement complaint against Apple claims that Apple has declined to establish licensing deals for Nokia technology that is used in Apple products.
Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia, said: "Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today's mobile devices, including Apple products. After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple's use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights."Nokia has filed lawsuits in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich in Germany. The lawsuits cover 32 patents that cover technologies including display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding. Nokia says additional actions are to come.
Update: Nokia today filed additional patent lawsuits against Apple in Asia, Europe, and the United States. As of today, Nokia has filed 40 patent suits in 11 countries.
Update 2: Apple is now suing Nokia itself as the legal battle continues to escalate. Apple has added Nokia Corporation, Nokia Solutions and Networks Oy, and Nokia Technologies Oy to the list of defendants in its aforementioned antitrust case against several patent assertion entities that have sued Apple over Nokia patents.